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CSotD: Back to the Grown-up World

Agnes welcomes me home from a four-day road trip with a reminder of why I do this: It’s for the fabulous wealth you can generate simply by being massively discontent.

The trip out to Denver for a training session with my young reporters felt like I was visiting some beleaguered revolutionary holdouts. The day before the workshop, the boss and I visited a museum, the zoo and a non-profit that offers economic training sessions plus a for-real bank that only serves kids (they have to close their accounts when they turn 22).

They’re all educational non-profits and all eager to reach kids, and it’s encouraging to hear what they want to press: Global conservation, economic literacy, scientific literacy.

And then you spend a day with bright, insightful kids and realize how much energy they have, as well as how much we’ve fouled up their world and how much we’re going to have to count on them to dig it all out again.

It’s encouraging to see that there are people who want to help, and kids who are prepared to absorb facts and deal with reality, even if the eldest of my crew are only 14.


And then you come back to Matt Wuerker‘s reminder of how much power the adults currently in command have to fight education and knowledge by turning every hopeful, promising plan into a blatant, frightening lie.

Some rightwing truthieness distributor at the NY Post went after AOC for using individual vehicles instead of relying entirely on the subway and, yes, Wuerker’s piece is absurd but is only mocking real claims from a powerful crazy person that the Green New Deal envisions a world without any beef rather than one in which meat consumption is held to sensible proportions.

And while Gorka was claiming that paranoid lies about hamburgers and pickup trucks are “what Stalin dreamt about but never achieved,” I got to fly using my new federally-approved drivers’ license which functions as a national ID card, which is precisely what Stalin dreamt about but never achieved in this country.

Until now.

John Birch’s body lies a-mouldering in the grave but his truth is marching on.


There have been a number of cartoons noting the big bag of nothing that Dear Leader brought home from his summit with Kim. I like Bill Bramhall‘s take because he reminds us of the draft-dodger’s mockery of John McCain while letting the graphic focus on the complete, stunning failure itself.

Not only is there no need to be more clever than that, but it’s a case where the more you dress it up, the more you distract from the central point. It was sufficient simply to lay it out in plain sight.


I would apply that same analysis to Trump’s stunning dismissal of the death of Otto Warmbier. There are any number of cartoons criticizing it, including several featuring a tombstone, but Nate Beeler simplifies it: Kim is my friend and I don’t give a damn about you. Or your kid.

Which brings us to a dismaying


Juxtaposition of the Day

(Clay Jones)

(Mark Streeter)

On the 90-minute drive home from the airport last night, I heard an interview with former Massachusetts Governor William Weld about his pending primary challenge, and he pretty much repeated what Vanity Fair reported him saying two weeks ago:

The truth is that we have wasted an enormous amount of time by humoring this president, indulging him in his narcissism and his compulsive, irrational behaviors.

High among those, he told the radio interviewer, is the way he insults and pushes away our allies while making buddies out of some of the most brutal, repressive dictators on the planet.

Both Jones and Streeter make a point of Trump’s bizarre, self-centered narcissism, Jones by including his sportin’ buddy, Robert Kraft, Streeter by packaging his embrace of murderers with his completely weird decision to make July 4 a holiday to mark how much we all love Donald J. Trump.


And we love both him and his big brain.

Which he is very careful to protect:


As noted here the other day, our modest president, though he admits he graduated with honors from Wharton, had the foresight to persuade them to keep his name off the Dean’s List and not mark him on the commencement program as having achieved honors, much less graduating first in his class.

If nothing else, that letter to Fordham and the other maneuvers Cohen testified about indicate that he is not simply misremembering but is consciously, intentionally lying.

To which I would add that, if he goes to such lengths to hide his academic records, and if what we already know about them is at such odds with his extravagant, empty claims, what are we to make of Cohen’s revelation of how Trump has worked to keep his financial records equally out of public sight?

The confirmations of rumor which came out in the course of that marathon session the other day suggest how all-encompassing the Trump fantasy world has become.


Poor Mo can barely get through the simplest tasks without running into reminders of how corrupt our world has become and how readily it seems to blend into daily life.

Which brings us full cycle, in that Mo still notices the laundering and corruption and still has the capacity to be surprised and shocked and dismayed and unhappy about it.

As long as we’ve got kids who want the world to be right and a contingent of adults like Mo who get it, the enemy is not the tyrant who stands up and tells blatant lies and rakes in corruption by the barrel-load.

The real enemy is the know-it-all cynic who says they all do it, it’s always been this way, there’s nothing you can do, you’re wasting your time, it’ll never change.

Little Mo is never going to be the leader of a great movement, but she could be a follower of a great movement, if she were only encouraged to think it could make a difference and that she is not the only one with fury in her soul.


Community Comments

#1 Tara Gallagher
@ 10:12 am

Trump “has great respect for the University”? When did Fordham turn into a cruel dictatorship?

#2 Sean Martin
@ 10:29 am

He was there for only two years?

#3 Mike Peterson
@ 1:31 pm

He started at Fordham, then transferred to Wharton, though not the prestigious grad school, and with help from a family friend.

However, he says he then graduated with honors and first in his class. But would not want anyone to see his transcript.

#4 Mike Peterson
@ 1:33 pm

(Maybe they wanted him to show up for class, Tara. That would qualify them as a cruel dictatorship!)

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